Meet the President
Jim Hizer, CCE, CEcD, joined the Greater Pensacola Chamber as President/CEO in August 2010. Jim is responsible for the Chamber’s operating and planning functions including economic development, armed services, tourism, government affairs and membership. He manages a $4 million budget and 30 employees. In 2010, Jim and his team successfully raised more than $8.5 million for Vision 2015, a five-year plan to enable the region to compete aggressively in attracting new jobs while growing and nurturing the Chamber’s existing 1,500 members. In the first year of this initiative, the Greater Pensacola welcomed more than 350 jobs to the region. In addition, Jim is leading efforts to strengthen public/private partnerships in the Pensacola area as a regional, more unified approach to economic development.
Jim holds his Certified Chamber Executive (CCE) designation from the American Chamber of Commerce Executives and his Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) designation from the International Economic Development Council. He is only one of 15 professionals in the nation who hold both CCE and CEcD designations.
Prior to joining the Greater Pensacola Chamber, Hizer served as president and CEO of the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce and the Intermodal Transportation Authority in Bowling Green, Ky. Under Jim’s leadership, the Chamber was named the American Chamber of Commerce Executives’ 2009 Chamber of the Year, and it received five-star accreditation from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, an accolade fewer than 100 chambers in the country can boast. Jim transformed the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce into a regional economic development organization and led the greater nine-county area to become the fastest growing metropolitan area in Kentucky. In his six-year tenure, the Central Kentucky region welcomed 6,500+ new jobs and 23 companies. He also oversaw the Chamber’s capital campaign, which raised more than $2.8 million toward a new $4-million headquarters. In addition, Jim created a Menu of Services program to deepen the marketing of South Central Kentucky to site selection professionals and industries. The International Economic Development Council recognized the program as the best in the world in the 2009 award category of Regionalism and Cross-border Collaboration.
Jim has also served as president of the Economic Development Corporation of Wayne County, in Richmond, Ind., as well as in economic development and chamber management roles in Daytona Beach, Fla., Logansport, Ind., and Frankfort, Ind.
Jim is a graduate of Indiana University. He and his wife Jane have been married 22 years and have one daughter Millie.